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The immersive art of Yayoi Kusama and her recovery from suicidal depression with art therapy

About a year ago I had the opportunity to see Kusama’s Infinity Mirror’s series and retrospective of her life’s work at one my favorite museums in Washington, D.C. The lines were long that day, and people were grumpy, this though did not take away from the awe that is inspired in her work. Her installations allow for only two or three people in a boxed room at a time and once you are inside it is like nothing you have ever seen or felt. Your senses are bombarded from every angle and your mind bends in directions you never thought possible. She transports you to a “galaxy far, far away” in a matter of minutes.

What I didn’t know when I was viewing all her work though was her battle with mental health and two suicide attempts. When I reflect back on the experience I think about her use of repetition and how when creating repetition in art it can feel soothing and grounding, it gives your mind space to relax and to explore. Take a look at this article about her story of becoming an artist and her struggle within that process : http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20180925-yayoi-kusamas-extraordinary-survival-story

Emilie Ferran